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  • 21-45 years of age
  • a practicing Roman Catholic for at least two years after having received all the Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, Confirmation, Holy Communion)
  • open to learning and living religious life, including personal and private prayer, community living and ministry
  • open to live religious poverty, celibate chastity, and obedience
  • free of significant family and financial obligations (some school debt is allowed)
  • in good physical and mental health
  • a college graduate with a bachelor’s degree
Postulancy is the first stage of Oblate formation. The postulant lives for one or two years in an Oblate community and fully participates in common prayer and community life. He remains financially independent. Some postulants take college courses, others work in Oblate schools or parishes, and others do a combination of both. The location of the postulancy varies and is shared ahead of time with each postulant.

Novitiate is a one-year retreat program of intense spiritual discernment and development. During this year the novice:
  • withdraws from school, employment, and his usual social life to deepen his relationship with God
  • lives in the novitiate house with other novices, Oblates, and the novice director
  • lives as a religious, embracing poverty, chastity, and obedience
  • engages in the study of Salesian spirituality, the theology and practice of the evangelical counsels, history of religious life, Scripture, Canon Law, the Oblate Constitutions and charism
  • discerns whether God is calling him to religious life with the Oblates.
Following novitiate and first profession, Oblate seminarians and brothers begin or continue their theological studies at Catholic University of America in Washington, DC. CUA was founded by the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops and chartered by the Holy See. Many religious communities and dioceses send seminarians, brothers, and sisters to CUA. As a pontifical faculty accredited by the Holy See, CUA is authorized to grant ecclesiastical degrees in theology (S.T.B’s.; S.T.L.’s, and S.T.D’s).

Sometime during their four years of theological study, Oblate seminarians and brothers
work for two years in an Oblate school, parish, or other apostolate. This is an opportunity to put into practice what they have learned in school and continue their discernment.

Formation concludes with a graduate degree and the perpetual profession of poverty, chastity, and obedience. Brothers enter into full-time ministry. Those preparing for ordination become transitional deacons, serving a semester or two in a parish before ordination to the priesthood.
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